New Jersey has enacted the “Create a Respectful and Open Workspace for Natural Hair Act” (“CROWN Act”). The CROWN Act should cause New Jersey employers to reexamine their grooming policies.   The CROWN Act amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and provides that employers, housing providers and places of public accommodation may not discriminate based on “race,” which includes ”traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited, hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles.”

New Jersey is now the third state (following California and New York) to ban discrimination based on hair and related characteristics though many states and cities are considering similar laws.